Mary Percival



It was 1959, I was 19 years old fresh out of business school. I was a Moran then and had two brothers working for Mother PONYA. My brothers encouraged me to get a job at the PA. So, off I went on the Bronx #2 train to 111 Eighth Avenue. A trip that ended in me working for an iconic agency whose Executive Director Austin J. Tobin was a legend in his time. It was a continuation of a family tradition started in the late 1940’s when my brother became a PA Police Officer.

I worked at 111 for George Melinette in the Real Estate Department. When I married in 1963 and became pregnant, I left the job I loved to become a full-time Mom. The years passed but I always kept in touch with my PA family.
In 1969, my husband became the first Percival to join the PA. Bobby (“Percy” “Popeye”) worked as a PO at LGA until February 1994 when he retired. You can see “Percy” carved in the cement outside of Post 21-- his favorite.

In 1981, I decided it was time to go home. Once again, I took the #2 train but this time, I went to 1WTC and surprisingly after 18 years, I was hired again. Rita Dubrow asked me if I would like my old ID #04581 and I said yes. So, here I was 41 years old with an employee number beginning in 0!! Need I say, how many awkward moments that created when promotion lists came out and people said “poor thing” took her forever to pass.

I interviewed with Allegra Opoulos at the PABT and was hired as her secretary. The beginning of my second time around. This time it lasted 24+ years. The best years of my life because I made a PA family whom I love as if they were my blood family. The fun times and camaraderie could not be counted. But, let me ask you “old timers” -- Do you remember the “Blues Brothers” and the party at the Pier? If so, you know the best times.
Sadly, in 1998 after a short retirement, my husband Bobby passed away. There is a beautiful stone memorial outside the PO Station at LGA with a plaque inscribed with a poem to “Popeye”. By that time, our three sons had joined the PA family.

I retired in 2005 in the position at the PABT held by Allegra Opoulos Lockett when she hired me in 1981. Of that, I am very proud.

For over 70 of the PA’s 100 years, there has been a member of my family employed by the PA. There are two left. Our oldest son Robert (“Percy Jr”) retired in 2015 from LGA as did his Dad. Our other sons have enjoyed wonderful careers and there are years left for our youngest John, a PATH Engineer. Michael is a Manager in Treasury. If there are no more, we certainly will have had a great run.



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